3 Years of Preschool for Fall Birthday?
To view licensing information at the State's
Licensing Office for a preschool or childcare site, including
inspection dates, citations, and complaints,
click "view" next to the License #. See
this page for info about daycare
and preschool reviews on the BPN website.
Berkeley Parents Network >
Preschools & Daycare >
3 Years of Preschool for Fall Birthday?
Hoping to find some advice as to how to plan the next three school years for our daughter, who
turned two in December, and therefore won't start kindergarten until she close to 6 (and misses
the deadline for Oakland's transitional-k by 10 days). I hate to be 'that mom', but she is
seriously, strikingly smart in terms of language and literacy, though I'd say she's socially
normal (ie not advanced in terms of interpersonal skills). I really believe she's ready to
phase out of her nanny share and start some sort of preschool in the fall. The problem is that
this means she would have three years of preschool, which seems like A LOT. We don't have much
money, so we can't afford to do extra enriching classes along with nanny share or preschool,
and in fact we can't afford the vast majority preschools, needing something that is in the
$1000/month range. (Nanny share right now only 2 days per week, supplemented by parent and
grandparent care.) Has anyone had their smart kid in preschool for 3 years and been happy with
the situation? Other options? I would also welcome recommendations for a preschool in Oakland
that offers full-day care that you think might be suitable for this situation.
hi there, i also have a daughter with a late december birthday who is
likewise not eligible for public kindergarten or transitional
kindergarten. we moved here from overseas where she was enrolled in a
public (universal:) preschool system that kept her with her birth year
peers. moving here i was dismayed by the thought of an ''extra'' year of
preschool for financial as well as ''developmental'' reasons. my advice
to you is to choose a preschool that has its own kindergarten class (we
have found a few - montessori and waldorf preschools are good places to
start looking) so that your daughter can attend kindergarten ''early'' if
you and her teachers agree she is ready. in theory at least she could
move from private kindergarten to public first grade - but if someone
knows otherwise, please speak up!!! also i think 3 years of preschool is
also not inherently a bad thing as long as you choose the school
carefully and it allows for the child to mature in place. and while there
are very few private schools that take young kindergarteners, crestmont
in richmond is, based on our research, a wonderful and affordable option.
hope that helps a bit!
that other mom
Lakeshore Childrens Center may fit the bill for you. It is full time an
around $1000 a month (just a bit over that now, I think). They have 2
houses, Kleines Haus, for the 3-year-olds, and Kinder Haus, for the 4's
and 5's. They divide each house into groups under different teachers. In
Kinder Haus, Joanie takes the 5-year-olds and basically runs a pre-K
program. She's a credentialed kindergarten teacher and does a fabulous
job with her ''smart cookies.'' My daughter only did 2 years of
pre-school, but due to a mid-year departure ended up moving into Joanie's
class mid-year, before her 5th birthday. In the 7 or 8 months she was in
the class she made great progress on her pre-reading skills. She was
almost reading when she started K (starting to sound out letters) and by
October of kindergarten she was really reading.
There are many reviews of LCC on BPN. They have great staff and low staff
turnover. Some of the teachers have been there 20 years or more, and one
of the school age teachers is 2nd generation (his dad has taught at
Kleines Haus for more than 30 years).
No advice on the preschool decision, but just wanted to note that I
believe OUSD will accept December birthdays into the TK program as long
as there is space; you just get prioritized behind the students who turn
five by December 1st. Just something to consider!
Another parent of a fall baby
Can you look into part-time preschool options? That could give your
child a great transition to preschool. Since you have parent and
grandparent care to supplement the nanny share, can you use one or both
of those to supplement preschool instead? A part-time preschool (for
example, 3 mornings a week, or 2 full days) probably wouldn't cost a lot
more than your nanny share.
If you or another parent is available some of the time, you could look
into a co-op, in which you pay less money in fees, by working one day a
week (or so) to help in the classroom. There are a lot of co-ops around
here. An in-home daycare could also be an option - often less expensive
than a preschool, and provides more stimulation and interaction than a
nanny-share. If you do need full-time preschool, there are preschools
around here in the price range you describe. My child goes to Chatham
Preschool which costs about that.
My son, also a Dec birthday, had three years of preschool and it was
fine. I think many kids with fall birthdays will fall into this
category. He's not a brainiac, but smart enough. I'd say finding an
affordable preschool is your bigger dilemma!
Add to your musings the fact that some private schools are more flexible
re birthday / kindergarten entrance guidelines. Some are willing to
evaluate a slightly younger child, and many do offer financial aid. I
have a very precocious boy, and went this route, myself. It's worked out
quite well for him.
early entrance mama
Hello, I don't know if you are near Alameda, but Rising Star Montessori
there would be a great option for you. They have 2 campuses-- the
Cottage for the younger ones and the main campus on High St. for the
older ones. Rising star has different ''levels'' if you will of
preschool, and also the Montessori method allows for kids to do a lot of
work at their own level. They work on ''jobs'' independently for various
skills and move on to the next levels when they are ready. Rising Star
is also very reasonably priced, plus has full-time before and after care.
If Alameda doesn't work for you, I would say that Montessori would be a
good way to go, for the reasons I was stating above. It is great for kids
at different levels to all work at their own level within a class. Also,
no matter which philosophy you choose, you will probably want to go with
a larger program that has multiple levels of preschool classes since she
will be there awhile. Then she can move up with her ''cohort.''
By the way, my child was in preschool for 2.5 years, and we know kids who
were in preschool as long or longer and they did just fine. Kids don't
keep track of time like we do, and as long as they are enjoying
themselves, the length of time they are there is more of an adult
concern. If you choose the right place for your daughter, she will do
We are just beginning the preschool search, but are having a challenging time
finding schools where the programs are designed to accommodate three full years of
preschool--which our fall birthday child will likely be doing. (We know about and
are watching the OUSD Transitional K programs, which he will be eligible for, but
would like a preschool where our child can remain for all three years if we go
that route without feeling like he is repeating a year or they're making a special
exception for him.) We're not necessarily looking for a school with a Bridge K
program, although that would be fine--but just hoping to put together a good list
of schools where the program can grow with a child there for a third year, and
where he will have peers who are also there for the third year. We need a
full-time program somewhere in Berkeley or (ideally) North/Central Oakland--any
schools we should be sure to look at? Thanks!
Mama of a soon-to-be preschooler
I don't know what type of school you are looking for (Montessori, play-based, co-op, etc...),
but if you are interested in a more ''academically'' focused preschool/preK I would HIGHLY
recommend Starlite Child Development Center/East Bay Academy. My daughter has been there for
about 18 months now, she will be starting K in the fall (they actually offer K classes at
Starlite as well), but I know other kids who have been there 3 years before K. It is located on
14th Street in Oakland on the periphery of Oakland's Chinatown. Most of the students and
faculty are of Chinese descent (as is my husband), but they are very welcoming and there are
other kids of different races/ethnicity as well. I like that the school is more academically
focused (my daughter is already starting to read and is learning chinese as well), but has a
very welcoming and ''family like'' atmosphere. Don't get me wrong...it's still a preschool so
there is plenty of play time, art, music, etc...but they do really focus the preK kids on being
prepared for kindergarten. In fact, when the people at my daughter's new school (K this fall)
saw Starlite on her school application they commented on how kids from that school are usually
ahead of their counterparts.
There is usually a waiting list because the program is so in demand (and affordable - $620 for
full-time school / M-F 730-6), so if it at all interests you I suggest you take a tour ASAP.
I am definitely going to have my son (now just 7 months old) attend as soon as he is eligible
A VERY satisfied Starlite parent
sounds like it fits the bill...Your little one could do two years in the nursery
school and then one year in the Bridge K. We'll just be starting the Bridge K next year, so I
don't have first hand experience in that room, but our experience in the nursery school has
been fantastic and the Bridge K teachers are great. There are lots of rave reviews of Step One
on BPN and you can visit and see for yourself what a special place it is, so I won't go on and
on. But look into it -- it's a great little school, if the Berkeley Hills location will work
Step One parent
I have two fall babies (currently aged 4 & 2) so I have thought a LOT about this issue! My
conclusion is that I don't want my kids to have 3 years of preschool. As a result, the older
one will be going to K this year (he barely makes the cutoff) and the younger one (who will not
make the cutoff) will do an extra 6-12 months in daycare as opposed to preschool. My older one
is in his 2nd year at a playbased school that does do a fair bit of work on letters and a bit
of numbers, and in many ways as far as I can tell, approximates kindergarten in the olden days
(as in, when I went to K). Even though he may not be quite ready socially, leaving him there an
extra year would be a total waste of time; the school is not geared up for those ''third
years'' and even in a different classroom it would be the same ''curriculum'' (same holiday
celebrations, etc.). And Bridge K programs in Berkeley are just out of control expensive. So
off he'll go to K. For my little one, I have the benefit of seeing how 2 years of preschool has
completely readied the big one for K academically, so I have no inclination to pay for an extra
year of preschool. She can start at almost 4 and probably be the most prepared kid in her K
class since she'll be one of the oldest anyway. My longwinded advice to you is to think hard
about if you really need to pay for that extra year of preschool - all of you might be better
off staying in daycare until summer 2014.
2-Years of Preschool Family
this page was last updated: Aug 10, 2013
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network